Study Medicine in Germany

  • About Medicine in Germany
  • Study Medicine in Germany
  • Universities
  • How to Apply

About Medicine in Germany

Medicine is one of the most respected and most rewarding professions in the world. One of the top destinations to study the subject of medicine is Germany as it has one of the best healthcare systems in the world and the demand for physicians after you graduate from a program in Germany is high. Universities in Germany also rank among the top schools to study medicine in not only Europe but the entire world. For example, in the ranking list for the top 50 medical universities in Europe, 12 of the 50 universities listed are German universities. This is why it’s a great option to study medicine in Germany.

German medical studies structure 

If you choose to study medicine in Germany, a normal degree course takes around six years to be completed. The medical studies structure is as follows:

University studies (Bachelor’s and Master’s)

This stage of medical studies takes 6 years to be completed. The first two of the years are the stage 1 pre-clinic studies (in German: Vorklinik). In this stage, students learn the theoretical basics of medicine like anatomy, biochemistry and psychology among other topics. They also take a three months internship working as a nurse. After this is completed, they sit for the first part of their medical physician’s examination (often called the “Physikum”. In German: Abschnitt der ärztlichen Prüfung 1). 


The second stage of studies is called the Clinic (in German: Klinik). This stage takes 3 years to be completed. Students start learning more in-depth medical topics like specialised areas like neurology, gynaecology, and paediatrics, among others. They also undertake a 4 month long internship in a hospital or GP office (in German: Famulatur). After this stage, students take the second part of their medical examination (in German: Abschnitt der ärztlichen Prüfung 2).


Finally, stage 3 studies of the University studies is the practical year (German: Praktisches Jahr). After this year, they sit for the last part of their physician’s exam (the state exam). When students are done with all 3 parts of the exam, they obtain their license to practice as physicians in Germany. 

Doctoral studies

Doctoral studies (in German: promotion) are optional for medical students. They take 2 to 6 semesters (1 to 3 years) to be completed, within which students write a doctoral medical thesis. This study may be carried out in parallel to university studies or residency. In this stage, students write their own dissertation that averages on 100 pages. When they hand in their doctorate thesis, they can be called Doctor of Medicine or M.D. 

Specialist training 

Finally, the specialist training or residency (in German: Facharztausbildung) allows students to specialise in one medical field. This training takes up to 6 years to be completed. When students have passed a specialist medical exam, they can open their own clinic. Without this stage, doctors can only treat patients who are privately insured or work in medical or health science fields where they don’t medically treat patients.

Language of instruction

Unfortunately, medical programs in Germany are almost completely in the German language, meaning that you need to have a good level of German to be admitted to a medical program there. 

Tuition fees 

Tuition fees in public universities are free, except in the state of Baden-Württemberg which charges non-EU students 1,500 € an academic semester. This means that if you choose to study medicine in Germany, it won’t be expensive! 

Postgraduate programs

Students may also decide to pursue postgraduate education in Germany after finishing basic medical studies so that they can work as a physician in Germany. Germany offers several Post Graduate Programs in Medicine that allows students to obtain a specialist position after graduation from the program. They can also decide to freely specialize in a certain medical field in a hospital, a process that is easier than in many other countries. Because of the high demand for physicians in Germany, they can almost guarantee they’ll get the specialisation of their choice, a feat perhaps impossible in their home countries due to the high competition for specialities.

Study Medicine in Germany

There are many reasons why students may choose to pursue their medical studies in Germany. From the many specialisations to the fact that it is cheaper to study medicine in Germany than in many other countries, there are several excellent reasons. Read on to find out why you should choose to study medicine in Germany rather than in other study destinations.

Why study medicine in Germany?

There are several reasons why you should study medicine in Germany including: 

  • Students in Germany have many excellent Medical schools to choose from, as well as world-class institutions that they have access to. 
  • Studying medicine has a low cost, meaning that it is cheaper to study there than to study in other top study destinations like the United States, Australia, Canada or the United Kingdom. For most public universities in Germany, you’ll only need to pay a semester fee when studying medicine. Living costs in Germany are also cheaper than in many other countries. If you are a postgraduate student, you can also work at a hospital whilst studying, making an average of 4,500 euros a month and not paying any tuition fees. 
  • You can easily attend many conferences in neighbouring European countries so you can meet other medical professionals, work on projects together and attend medical career fairs to network even more. This means you’ll build a great professional network.


  • Due to Germany’s proximity to other European countries, it is effortless for doctors from all over Europe to meet up and attend medical conferences here. This means that you will be able to meet other medical professionals, work on collaborative projects, and attend career fairs.
  • Germany has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, with state-of-the-art medical technology. They are also ranked globally as some of the best hospitals. The public health system offers many great services for people who can’t afford private health insurance and they could also subsidize procedures for them. German medical students get access to some of the best public and private hospitals and clinics worldwide. 
  • There are also many great scholarships to choose from, with generous scholarship packages for international students who choose to study there. This helps students save up money while they are attending university studies, especially with the minimal tuition fees. 
  • Unemployment rates in Germany are lower than in other European countries and this is all the more true in the medical specialisation, where jobs are highly in demand. This means it’ll be easy for you to find a job after graduation to work in Germany. There is a lower percentage of doctors in Germany than in other countries that are neighbouring which means that finding a job is pretty easy than if you were studying in another country. 

Universities in Germany

When it comes to universities to study medicine at in Germany, 35 universities offer medical degrees. This means there are plenty of great choices for universities that you can study at. From the University of Heidelberg to the University of Munich, many of these programs are also very highly ranked worldwide. Doctors who have studied in Germany also have an excellent reputation that precedes them, making Germany a great choice for your medical degree. 


Here are some of the best medical schools to study in Germany if you are considering studying there: 

Heidelberg University

Location: Heidelberg 

Heidelberg University is a public German university that was founded in 1386, which means it’s the oldest university in Germany. It has three campuses and international students make up about 20 per cent of the student population. The school has an excellent medical school that has been around for 60 years. The school aims to solve medical challenges in the world today and has developed over time into the best medical school in Germany. With excellent research facilities that are internationally praised and top technology, the school draws many medical students from all over the world to study there. 


The University of Munich

Location: Munich 

The University of Munich, founded in 1472, is a public university in the German city of Munich, Bavaria’s capital. The school has 18 academic schools, including a top medical school. It offers over 200 degree programs. German is the main language of instruction but there are several English master’s programs offered there, like ones in economics, neuro-cognitive psychology, media management and technology and software engineering. The faculty of medicine is made up of a university hospital, preclinical and academic facilities, and clinical-theoretical facilities. It has an excellent reputation in academic and practical clinic work, receiving funding from massive organisations and projects like Collaborative Research Centres, postgraduate Research Training Groups, research units, and national and international joint projects. The school is considered the largest university for training medical professionals in South Germany. 

RWTH Aachen University

Location: Aachen 

Another top medical school in Germany for those interested to study a medical degree is the renowned technological powerhouse: the RWTH Aachen University. RWTH Aachen University, which was founded in 1966, has nine schools including the school of medicine. The Medical school, named The Klinikum Aachen, has several speciality clinics, theoretical and clinical organisations and research facilities.  houses various specialty clinics, theoretical and clinical institutes and research facilities. It also houses lecture halls and other buildings necessary to the faculty of medicine. The medical school has around 3,000 students attending it.  

Lübeck Medical School 

Location: Lübeck 


The Lübeck Medical School is another top medical school in Germany. It is specialised in research and focuses on medical areas such as Infection and Inflammation, Brain, Behaviour, and Metabolism, Genetics and Biomedical Technologies. It is known worldwide for its excellence in studies and for producing doctors of the top level. Graduates of the medical school receive vital skills after graduation, including excellent technical medical knowledge, practical capabilities, scientific research skills and social and ethical skills. 

Magdeburg University 

Location: Magdeburg

The University of Magdeburg is one of Germany’s newer universities, established in 1993. It was created by combining the old Technical University, Teacher Training College, and Medical School. Professors of the medical school include around 1300 trained medical professionals, and they emphasize collaboration between faculty and students. The University hospital has  around 45000 in-patients staying there, with thousands more coming in and out of the hospital yearly. This means students of the medical school get not only an excellent theoretical education of the medical theories but also great practice working with real life patients.

Munster University

Location: Munster 


Another excellent medical school, Munster University, was founded in the year 1780. It has seven different faculties that have 15 departments in them. The school offers over 250 degree programs taught by 5000 outstanding faculty members. The school currently has around 40,000 students. It also has more than 400 partnerships with universities around the world.


The mission of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Münster is conveying love for knowledge and curiosity to solve medical problems. Students also develop their medical skills through evaluations, idea contests and exchanges of information.

Fresenius University Of Applied Sciences

Location: Idstein 

Another great school to pursue a medical degree in Germany is the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences in Idstein. It is one of the oldest private universities in Germany and has academic traditions that extend back over 170 years. The school offers medical programs in English that draw international students to them. For example, the school offers excellent degrees in paediatrics, osteopathy and International Health Economics at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels. 

How to apply - Germany

After learning about the top medical schools and why you should study in medicine in Germany, you might be interested in how to apply to these universities. UniApp can help you find the best program and apply so you can pursue the medical educational future of your dreams.


The admissions process to study medicine in Germany is split into several stages. You may need to apply on UniAssist if the university is part of that system. Otherwise, you can apply directly to the university of your choice. You’ll have to check the website of your program to see exactly how the process goes. The process is very similar to applying to any other subject in Germany. 


After selecting the school and program of your choice, you apply using the process that the university asks for. You’ll need to meet certain requirements to be admitted to a medical program in Germany. 


Here are some of the requirements you may need to join a medical degree in Germany: 

  • High school diploma, with good grades in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Math
  • Recommendation letters from respectful professionals
  • Letter of motivation
  • Volunteering or work experience in the healthcare or medical field
  • TOEFL and IELTS scores 


Those who have studied the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) need to have studied three Higher Level topics. They need to include the subjects of Chemistry and Biology. They also need to have studied three Standard Level subjects. 


If you have obtained your A-levels in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or from official German Schools Abroad, you won’t be able to apply directly for your medical programs in Germany. Instead, you’ll have to apply through the central application hochschulstart, which is a platform managed by the Trust for admission to higher education (in German: Stiftung für Hochschulzulassung – SfH). 


Students may receive scholarships to study in Germany if they want to pursue a medical degree. Some universities offer scholarships so you can check their websites for scholarships relating to their programs. There are also other funding schemes offered by several organisations, both private and public to fund your medical study journey. 


Thirteen talent-based scholarship foundations (in German: Begabtenförderungswerke),  offer scholarships. In order for international students to apply to these programs, they need to have finished their first 2 years of studies and passed the first step of the medical exam offered by the German state. If you have completed equivalent studies abroad, you may also be eligible to apply for these scholarships. All students who attend German universities that offer Deutschlandstipendium can also apply for this funding scheme. 


Other scholarship organisations offer schemes to encourage people to study medicine in Germany due to shortages of doctors, especially in rural German areas. Germany offers monthly financial support to international students who are willing and able to commit to working as a general practitioner in a rural and medically understaffed area of Germany for a specified number of years. One of these organisations that offers such financial support is the “Meilenstein-Emsland” foundation. This organisation sponsors students who agree to work in the German Emsland region after they graduate from their program. There are also many other programs for other areas so be sure to look into them if you want to study medicine in Germany and need financial support to do so!

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